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Top ambient records of all time part II : 11 to 50

September 22, 2015 5 comments

TOP AMBIENT RECORDS OF ALL TIME PART II : 11 TO 30

gpw-20061021-NASA-GPN-2000-001097-Earth-sunburst-clouds-ocean-robot-arm-STS-77-Space-Shuttle-Endeavour-May-1996-mediumPart 2 of some of the most essential ambient records of all time. Part 1 can be found here. As I did the first part 5 years ago, my taste in ambient has evolved quite a bit since then. I became aware that some readers rightfully pointed that I forgot Lifeforms which is a total brain fart I ll admit. I have since became a fan of Loscil, Mick Chillage (and his Autumn of communion project with Lee Norris aka Norken) A lot of people wrote me to ask for a part two so here it is. I’ve put number 11 to 30 here and number 31 to 50 is in another post on the blog and can be found here. My list was inspired by my personal taste but also 2 surveys done by hyperreal.


11) FSOL : Lifeforms / 1994

What can be said about Lifeforms that hasn’t been said before ? It’s an epic ambient-techno album that has stood the test of time. Truly gorgeous samples such as Klaus Schulze AND Ozric Tentacles. The album is mixed and is meant to be listened from start to finish, so seamless. It has a couples of samples from b-movies like Millenium (You will awake now, remain calm) and Repo men (Miller explains the weirdness in the world). It’s probably one of the most well reviewed album of his genre and by countless of people all around the world. The peak of FSOL career.

But the greatness of Lifeforms lies in the fact that, much like great sampling artists like DJ Shadow or DJ Premier, FSOL were able to grasp just a few seconds of a Andrew Grossart lush track and make it into an even bigger, more brooding track. The atmospheres here are dark, sharp, crisp, and cunning. They were meticulously crafted with dexterity and ingenuity. Those samples here often only last 5 or 10 seconds. To take these quick snippets and make them into epic ambient-techno tracks takes some bloddy geniuses. The vision, the artwork, the seamless, floating tracks that makes this album flawless as a whole ; when combined (Much like Bytes by BDP), it’s sheer brilliance.

Other breaktaking samples :

Ill Flower : at 1min10 : samples The Venus Wearing the Space Uniform Shining in Florescent Light Color by Tomita

Omnipresence : at 0,01 samples Airlight by Klaus Schulze here.

Flak samples : at 0,06 Paul Williams  and Andrew Grossart Shining Ice here.

Flak also samples : at 1,01 William Thomson and Trevor Nightingale Cloud Formations here.

12) Robert Rich : Somnium

somniumRobert Rich, is an American composer that made music for the last 30 years and release a DVD release called : Somnium, a single continuous track separated into three parts, a 7-hour sleep concert recording. For the record: this is the longest piece of continuous music ever produced. Over 7 hours of Robert Rich’s best, beautiful ambient works. the music on this album was composed to influence the dreams and pre-REM hypnogogic visions of the listener. For this purpose it is suggested that the volume be kept down to the threshold of perceptibility, ideally with speakers surrounding the listener’s bed. Rich also recommends this album for conventional listening. For a brief period at the beginning of the album there is a slightly more active texture while the listener adjusts the volume and settles down to sleep. As the music progresses it slowly drifts through a variety of electronic drones as well as acoustic source material and nature recordings. The third and final track gradually fades into a morning atmosphere filled with bird songs.

Water effects drift in and out of heavenly chords. Birds sing and nature calls. This piece of music is wonderful, absorbing ambience. There is nothing decayed or dead here; everything is working in harmony. Changes in sound are so subtle that you find yourself in different landscapes without realising it. Part 1, a perfect countryside walk which lasts for days. You slowly venture into a mutating forest… Part 2: a visit to underground caverns filled with sparkling crystals and unknown wonders. Part 3, you are floating through space on an endless voyage to nowhere, occasionally being brought back down to Earth to enter calming forests with the alluring sound of birdcall brushing your conciousness. In order to allow for the album’s seven-hour length it was released on the DVD-video format instead of DVD-Audio. For insomniacs or just ambient heads alike…Essential.

Robert Rich : Somnium / Hypnos : 2001 : Part 3 (Divided here in IV parts it is the part IV) 144:45 minutes

13) Lustmord : The place where black stars hang

Dark as hell, “The Place Where the Black Stars Hang” was first released in 1994 on Side Effects, via Soleilmoon and while the earlier Lustmord album “Heresy” gave birth to the dark ambient genre, it is “The Place Where the Black Stars Hang” that defines it. It’s a work regularly cited by critics, audiences and musicians as being amongst the very best and most influential albums of its decade. The album has a more nuanced feeling of space and detail than ever before. Based on recognition established through recordings such as “Black Stars”, Brian Williams, the man who is Lustmord, went on to provide music and sound design for numerous major motion pictures, with credits on over 40, including The Crow, The Negotiator, Pitch Black, The Saint and Underworld. The track Metastatic resonance especially stands out as track that sounds like an endless void or a vortex taking us into another dimension.

14) Shades of orion 2 / Fax +49-69/450464 / 1995

If Aliens listened to music this is what they would be bumping in their spacecrafts. I’ve been playing this endlessly i don’t know how many times by now since it landed on my collection. The whole album is mixed, seamless and the sound is hypnotic and puts you right to the edge. A spiritual album that takes the listeners on a dazzling journey. Clearly one of FAX best albums. A prime album with no beats, and a deep collaboration between Pete Namlook and Tetsu Inoue.

15) Electro harmonix : Electro harmonix / 1994

Probably my favorite FAX release especially for Morphing clouds, one epic ambient track of 47 minutes that morphs and uses a soft swirling synth and shifting atmospheres that come back and forth. A truly great collaboration between two great artists : Jonah Sharp aka Spacetime continuum and Tetsu Inoue. The album only has 3 tracks : Morphing clouds, Replay and Floating sync.

16) Higher intelligence agency & Biosphere : Polar sequences / 1995

This is a live recording from the 1995 Polar Music Festival, in Tromø Geir Jenssen’s hometown. Recorded on the top of a mountain above the town, the music uses only samples sourced locally – people speaking at the festival, the cable car which brought people to the performance, the melting snow and ice, et cetera.

The result is a stunningly accomplished and balanced piece, musically, technically, emotionally. It bridges uplifting, glacial sounds with a dark moodiness without ever becoming tired and clichéd, neither natural nor electronic, but somewhere out on its own. An absolute essential for all ambient heads and discerning listeners out there. This album is without any doubt one of the greatest electronic piece in music history. Pure electronic bass and drum with floating sounds that come from any side around you. A true masterpiece.

17) Autumn of communion : Autumn of communion

Sadly the last album on FAX, as Pete Namlook died soon after. I e-mailed Peter one month before it came out in 2012 and he send me a copy of this gem. We had agreed for an interview but in the mean time he passed away. A testament to the quality Mr. Namlook put out there on his label. It’s a beautiful journey from Mick & Lee, very reminiscent of 90’s ambient-techno such as James Bernard, Air Liquide, and Namlook’s output itself. You can see that a lot of endeavors went through this album, it’s very mature but yet so smooth in its execution. Analog synths and very warm soundscapes. I am posting a preview but if you’re an ambient buff, you owe it to yourself to buy this album.

18) Biosphere : Cirque

CAUNCPEVEach Biosphere album has its own atmosphere. Microgravity sounds more aquatic to, Cirque is more dubby, Autour De La Lune (which means Around the Moon) is composed with bits of silence from the space. Le “Grand Dome” sounds like being trapped in a deep, frozen fjord. Towards the end the listener will still be floating on the Arctic Ocean. This album was inspired by the true story of a young North American explorer (Chris Mac Candless) who lived a brutal dream of ascetism but fatally lost himself in the dense forests of Alaska. I would like to specify that words you can weakly listen to in the 2nd track are in french. The man is talking about northern lights and the return of the sun, seemingly during an exploration in the North Pole. Originally, to me Biosphere’s best release was Substrata & in every respect it still remains a classic but Cirque just has that something extra, a real journey into the glacial sound that Biosphere creates, a journey that one takes with the explorer to which it is inspired from.

19) Robert Rich & Lustmord : Stalker / 1995

I found about this nice collaboration between dark ambient and music film artist Lustmord and Robert Rich entitled Stalker, in 1995. One of the greatest dark ambient albums ever. The album is based liberally on Andre Tarkovsky’s 1979 film of the same name, and the mood of the film is captured admirably by Rich and Lustmord. But any resemblance to the arc of the film seems almost inconsequential, as the compositions stand well alone from any existing pretext.

20) Brian Eno : Apollo : Soundtracks & atmosphere / 1983

Trainspottingsoundtrack[1]Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks is an album by the British ambient musician Brian Eno, released in 1983. It was written, produced, and performed by Brian Eno, his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois. Music from the album appeared in the films 28 Days Later, Traffic, and Trainspotting, whose soundtrack sold approximately four million copies. This music was originally recorded in 1983 for a feature length documentary movie called “Apollo” later retitled For All Mankind, directed by Al Reinert . Eno said of the album : …. Well, I love that music anyway…. What I find impressive about that music is that it’s very concerned with space in a funny way. Its sound is the sound of a mythical space, the mythical American frontier space that doesn’t really exist anymore. That’s why on Apollo I thought it very appropriate, because it’s very much like “space music

23) Steve Hillage : Rainbow dome musik / 1979

Released after ‘green’ in 1979, this album of what was then considered experimental electronic music, now called ambient. It is a seminal document in the field. More joyous and uplifting, and more engaging principally than others experimenting in the field at the same time, these two performances contain beautiful and melodic synth textures over which Hillage provides some liquid guitar work. It would take 12 years before Hillage would pursue this direction again in System 7 and climb the electronic heights. This is a whole album of mostly sweet, gentle, soothing and high toned new-age music. Recorded for the London Festival of Mind Body and Spirit which played in April of 1979, it is a very trippy, yet consistent recording – Hillage often on glissando guitar as well as that distinctive Gong (and Pink Floyd) delayed echo-rhythm, as well as keyboards, accompanied by Miquette Giraudy on keys, synth and Tibetan bells. In fact, the first composition, “Garden of Paradise” is very soothing and meditative. For me this is perfect background accompaniment for doing things around the house – like cooking and cleaning or artistic activities, but its a bit too intense to read to or concentrate on something else with. A spaced out ambient classic.

24) Loscil : Endless falls / 2010

A rainy concept album but my fellow Canadian Scott Morgan from Vancouver. Subtle and powerful, persistent with being imposing Loscil’s “Endless Falls” is another beautifully crafted sonic experience. Waves of soft sounds come and go, while subtle details create a sense of rythm and texture. My highlights are “Lake Orchard”, a kind of slow motion trance, and the deeply emotional “The Making of Grief Point”. Stylistically speaking this album resembles previous Loscil works, but at the same time it is a new and unique experience which I highly recommend. Meditative, focused and highly therapeutic. Quite simply stunning in his results but his musings are so simple.

25) Pete Namlook & Richie Hawtin : From within 1-3

richie3A wicked collaboration between the spacy synths of Namlook and the 303 acid lines of Richie Hawtin. The album has long, delving soundscapes and build ups. Incredible dense layers from volume 1 to 3. I originally bought the 3 cd’s in 2000, but to think they were released a few years just tell about how forward thinking they were – and still are, to this day. The beauty of this collaboration is they have completely different styles that really complement each other. Plastikman was quite keen on using the Roland TB-303. But here we have Namlook adding more sonic depth. Alone it may not work out, but together their gestalt does vault to the “awesome” level. The outstanding voyage that is ”A million miles to Earth” reminds me of my endless nights of solitude, whilst studying at the university. All 3 CD’s were lined up in my stereo, focusing on boring matter but often daydreaming of the landscapes I could see while I delve into the music…

 
26) Brian Eno : Ambient 4: On Land / 1982

Ambient 4: On Land is a 1982 album by British ambient musician Brian Eno. It was the final edition in Eno’s ambient series, which began in 1978 with Music for Airports. On Land is a mixture of synthesizer-based notes, nature/animal recordings, and a complex array of other sounds, most of which were unused, collected recordings from previous albums and the sessions that created them. Despite the music’s dark leanings, it is in a sense still highly ambient in that the tracks tend to blend into each other and thus fulfill all of Eno’s original expectations of what the term means. Eno also had something to say about how music—this album in particular—should be listened to. In the liner notes, he suggested (even going so far as to draw a diagram) “a three-way speaker system that is both simple to install and inexpensive, and which seems to work very well on any music with a broad stereo image”.

27) John Foxx : Cathedral oceans / 1997

Cathedral Oceans (after 2003 also referred to as Cathedral Oceans I) is an album of ambient music by John Foxx, ex-leader of new wave band Ultravox and synth pioneer. Released in 1997, it marked Foxx’s return to the music scene after an absence of seven years. It was also his first solo album since 1985’s In Mysterious Ways. The album’s artwork consists of collages by Foxx himself, overlaying various pictures and textures with the faces of statues. Cathedral Oceans is a long ongoing project by Foxx, the first recordings that appear on this album were made as early 1983. In 1987 Cathedral Oceans material was played live by Foxx in various buildings, gardens and cathedrals in England and Rome. As a result of the long genesis of the album it does sound somewhat fragmented in places, but the overall effect is soothing, almost pastoral ambience created by extensive usage of reverb and echo coupled with gregorian chanting.

28) Vangelis : Blade runner / 1982

Blade runner is by far my favorite movie of all time. And its soundtrack is also my favorite of any film ever released. It is mostly a dark, melodic combination of classical composition and synthesizers which mirrors the futuristic film noir envisioned by Scott. The original soundtrack release was delayed for over a decade, until 1994, despite the music being well-received by fans and critically acclaimed—nominated in 1983 for a BAFTA and Golden Globe as best original score.

blade_runner_idArriving 12 years after the release of the film, in 1994, the soundtrack to the 1982 futuristic noir detective thriller Blade Runner was as bleak and electronically chilling as the film itself. By subtly interspersing clips of dialogue and sounds from the film, Vangelis creates haunting soundscapes with whispered subtexts and sweeping revelations, drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern textures and evoking neo-classical structures. Often cold and forlorn, the listener can almost hear the indifferent winds blowing through the neon and metal cityscapes of Los Angeles in 2019. The sultry, saxophone-driven “Love Theme” has since gone on as one of the composer’s most recognized pieces and stands alone as one of the few warm refuges on an otherwise darkly cold but beautiful score.

Fans of Ridley Scott‘s groundbreaking film (as well as those interested in the evolution of electronic music) will warmly take this recording into their plastic-carbide-alloy hearts.

Vangelis wrote this music to perfection, capturing all the emotions and feelings you need to feel when you are looking at a beautifully atmospheric electronic landscape capable of highlighting the weirdness and the beauty. The music also captures well the epic proportions of the special effects. No other soundtrack that I remember have managed to capture quite as perfectly the rich imaginary of science fiction and the sense of otherworldly metaphysical angst. Aphex Twin, Global Communications, FSOL and DJ Krush are just a few of the names that owe something to this historical album. The overall impression is of a dark and troublesome future with brief glimpses of hope and great beauty. As a musical score this truly captures the moods and feelings inspired by reading the novels of Philip K Dick, far more than any other adaption of his material to date. An album that showcased how important the right music & sound effects are to make a memorable film.

29) Tangerine dream : Phaedra / 1974

This 1974 masterpiece from Christopher Franke, Edgar Froese, and Peter Baumann ebbs and flows with richly dark soundscapes of electronic sounds and synth. Phaedra was a progenitor for much ambient–and some dance–music, influencing such artists as Steve Roach. After listening to Phaedra it’s easy to understand why. The signature pulsing of thick, beautiful Tangerine Dream synth falls across the ambient treasures here, pulling along the orchestral dreamscape before oozing aside for thick washes of expansive sound. The now-classic title cut is both soothing and ghostly, throbbing with subtle sequences and twisted metallic calls before diving into a swamp of nightmarish whistles and hoots. “Mysterious Semblance” soars and swoops like a lovely electronic eagle, bringing tripped-out light and cosmic dignity to the collection. This and the follow-up Rubycon are juicy pieces to the Tangerine Dream pie. This is the first Tangerine Dream album to feature their now classic sequencer-driven sound, which launched the Berlin School genre. It also earned the group a gold disc in seven countries, and yet in their native Germany it sold barely 6,000 units. Writing in his 2000 Ambient Century, Mark J. Prendergast describes the title track: “At over 17 minutes it conveyed feelings of the cosmos, of giant suns exploding, of huge ocean movements, of mythological lands, of eddies and drifts. Layer upon layer of futuristic sounds piled one on top of the other until the whole thing climaxes in some interstellar void.”

30) Manuel Göttsching : E2 E4 / 1984

e2E2-E4, was recorded in 1981 but released in 1984, and was not the first solo recording album by Manuel Göttsching but his 5th after Inventions for electric guitar, followed by New age of earth, Blackouts and then Dream and desire. The album itself consists of a minimalistic hour-long progressive electronic track that is subdivided into single tracks according to the stage of the song. The second half of the record is notable for Göttsching’s guitar playing. The album is named after the most popular opening chess move, 1. e4. Maybe its legendary status is due to the fact that as the story is sometimes told, Göttsching stopped in the studio, while touring with Klaus Schulze, and invented techno. In a concert mood, in december of 1981, he entered his studio armed with only a korg synth and a guitar, his favorite asset. And then, he started playing. He improvised. But thanks for us, he decided to record the whole thing on the spur of the moment. And an hour of music was born. But he did not even intended to release it. After many reflections, doubts and afterthoughts, and only after the counsel of usual pal Schulze and especially three years later, he decides to publish the session. E2 E4, covered with a chessboard on cold and brown, sees the light and its light changes the course of history. E2 E4 is the most compelling argument that techno came from Germany. And even more so than any Kraftwerk album. Over a heavenly two-chord synth vamp and simple sequenced drum and bass, Göttsching’s played his guitar like a percussion instrument, creating music that defines the word hypnotic over the sixty minutes of the single track. Nonetheless, even though E2-E4 is very famous within young people (Say Carl Craig and Derrick May) and most notably of the DJ generation and those who like minimalistic music, it is not as much known by those who love Krautrock.

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Top 5 records of 2012

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

human-space-universe-cosmos1) Autumn of commmunion is a collaboration between Mick Chillage and Lee Anthony Norris aka Norken. A dazzling and mesmerizing trip into lush ambient music and ethereal soundscapes. A kaleidoscope of deeply atmospheric drones, lush synthwork and emotive melody with environmental touches and intricate rhythmic details which reflect a hint of classic 90’s ambient/electronica but displays a strong unique identity. Sadly this record will go down as the last published on the mighty FAX records label…Limited to 300 copies. Worth buying for sure, a volume 2 is already in the works. I must say I loved it from the 1st notes I heard on Soundcloud but ever since I’ve purchased the CD through Pete Namlook (RIP) it grew and grew on me…It is a real album à la Black dog circa Bytes, i.e. all tracks are connected to each other…it flows well and has an uncanny touch of still sounding fresh after repeated listenings…Spoil yourself and buy this little gem from Mick and Lee. It’s that good !

2) Lone : Galaxy garden / R&S Records

Matt Cutler aka Lone makes daydream music, you can’t listen to it without going off somewhere. Personally, I slip into the daydream of being sucked into the 80s arcade game ‘Outrun’ and tearing around a looped pixellated parallel to Miami or some other palm-tree-avenued sea front…This record is so trippy, it’s like falling into the white rabbit’s hole but instead of making it to wonderland, you get into another forest, an upside down one, with the sky just bellow your naked feet, full of planets that seem more like giant lollipops and where everything is made of mirrors, of warm glass, that reflect all the colours that exist. You can hear water flowing in every single track, but it’s not a river. It’s flowing throughout and inside the branches, tangling all the threes to an infinite vegetable Venice. A unique trip!

3) The Orb featuring Lee ”Scratch” Perry : The observer in the star house

A nice one from The Orb and Lee Scratch Perry! Honestly, we’re not at all surprised at how strong the record is – The Orb have long transcended genres and expectations in the electronic realm – and Scratch has long proven to be one of the most adaptable and unique voices reggae. They go great together! The Orb deliver some spacey, dubby and deeply atmopsheric sounds – and Lee’s charismatic voice sounds great floating over it. Includes Golden clouds a remake of Little fluffy clouds ! This collaboration between The Orb and Lee Scratch Perry really works. The Orb tried before to create songs on Cydonia and the Dream albums, but the voices were sometimes really cheesy. Not this time. Mr Perry doesn’t really sing, but his voice is unique and melts perfectly with the tracks. Golden Clouds is like a Little Fluffy Clouds for the 10’s. And there’s also a Police and Thieves cover. This is not the ambient Orb, but the dub Orb. The tracks are not very long, but that’s fine with us !

4) Claro intelecto : Reform club / Delsin records

Forget Legowelt praised by Resident advisor (dumb ass geeks stuck with house music from the 90’s) and XLR8R…This is the album of the year in techno music. Minimal, hypnotic, groovy but also filled with nice melodies à la Detroit techno. This was released early in the year and is much better than the overrated Voice from the lake. Why ? Because it’s a mixture of dub techno, deep house and straight up minimal techno. There is surprisingly more melody here than one might think. With just the right enough tech. Going into this you know the depth and baselines will win you over. But it’s done subliminally, creatively and it’s done at a tempo that either a house or techno fan can enjoy. Still Here and Second Blood have to be the majority favorites on here. My only gripe is no filler tracks to bridge them. But this plays more like a 2×12 then a LP. The album does run out of steam after the first four tracks besides Second Blood. A few more winners and a better album theme and we could have had the best techno album in a long time…Still for those 9 tracks, this album is still ranked 5/5 for me

5) Symmetry : Themes from an imaginary film

Two hours of music that slots in perfectly with the Drive – OST and Chromatics as it was released on the great label Italians do it better, this soundtrack was rumored to be an unused scored for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. Johnny Jewel (Glass Candy, Desire, Chromatics) began production for many of the tracks on Themes For An Imaginary Film in 2008. Jewel had been approached by Refn after seeing him perform to compose the score for the movie. However, due to miss-communications and the Hollywood machine the project fell through. Nevertheless Jewel and Nat Walker (Desire, Chromatics) had written a few songs that were intended for the soundtrack, four of which have found their way on to the debut release from their project, Symmetry, along with a myriad of other material. The 37 tracks that make up the album seem to stand apart from whatever imaginary film they were truly for. Obviously and expressly inspired by the film soundtracks and composers of the 1970s, the music evokes many moods and emotional overtones over its two hour running time. Jewel and Walker avoid the pitfalls of making an outright disco soundtrack like Goblin or going the John Carpenter route. Instead they have crafted an album that is uniquely their own with or without the film that never was. Brilliant score and amazing production values.

Categories: Top 5 records

A year in review : Top 2011 : Albums, singles, mixes and some personal thinking !

January 18, 2012 1 comment

In 2011, I don’t think I’ve ever listened to music from the past as much as any year, with DJ Tribute to the intelligent-techno era, the Orb, Krautrock and I got less and less into house & techno and more and more into dub, electronica, nu disco / electro and downtempo. I am getting older but my tastes are changing too. Since I no longer have a DJ residency, I think it has allowed me to expand my musical spectrum. Being closer to 40 years old, I am one of those old geezers who say : I was there for the 1st rave, I bought Stella in 1992, and I own that vinyl or CD’s instead of the now popular : I own all top 100 Beatport, which is in my opinion, almost all shitty in my opinion.

Even though it’s great to have all these tools available in to produce music such as AbletonLive, Reason, Cubase and the tools to mix music such as Ableton, Traktor Pro, I will sound like a purist but the end still does not justify the means. The method matters less than the ideas, or your talent as a DJ, a producer and remixer. Quite frequently, I hear these mixes who starts straight up with a beat from the first measure : Deep or tech house (two genres with lots of quality records but are slowly painting themselves in a corner too) it goes all the way, from 75 minutes to 124 BPM and it’s perfectly mixed, but so perfect that it is also boring as hell…Ever had this girlfriend that was blonde with blue eyes but also so tedious that you would get bored ? This is some of my feelings towards dance music altogether and the commercially released mixes…But then, something happened in 2011 : through Soundcloud, I have discovered massive loads of incredibly talented producers that perhaps wouldn’t exist without these softwares or wouldn’t have been able to compose or create mixes because turntables and vinyls were damn expansive back in the days. This in my opinion, the good side of the now more accessible electronic music world : I hear people like Space dimension controller, massively talented, who’s like 22 or 23 years and I wonder if we haven’t entered a new age of electronic music. The dark side ? Never in our lifetime have we been overflowed with music…So many mixes, on Soundcloud, on Mixcloud. So many record producers that it takes a LOT of time and energy to decipher all the good stuff. In between, everyone tends to try and improvise themselves as DJ’s and sometime it just doesn’t cut up.

I will go out and sound like an old-school kinda of guy but despite the fact that the music is now more quickly available and free (although I still like to shop at Juno) but I miss the record stores with loads of vinyls. I miss the gathering of DJ’s and record collector (I consider myself more of this category), the smell of the used Warp record, and the sleeves. The excitement of bringing a new record home such as it was with LFO in 1991. So I went against the grain in 2011 and bought myself a Turntable : since everyone buys a Laptop and Traktor Pro I figured there’s nothing innovative about that. Let’s do the opposite and buy a nice digital turntable and vinyls. Yes, it’s damn expansive. I paid 200 $ for Geoggadi ! But having E2 E4 on Mp3 bears no meaning whilst holding its transparent vinyl has value, rarity and above all, a special aura, that will never be outdated. I won’t say that Laptop DJ’s are worthless and add like Theo Parrish that it is borderline too easy because I think the physical dimension of the records (vinyl especially for record collectors) will co-exist with the laptop DJ’s even if the latter is now more convenient and popular. Guys like Agoria and Joris Voorn are using these tools so accurately, it would be insane not to acknowledge their talent and the way they master those tools, just as it would be foolish not seeing the greatness of turntablist of techno such as Jeff Mills his art and still playing vinyls.

I think there’s advantages to both ways but having started on vinyl and cds I can say that I have learned how to build a momentum in a set, an artform that is starting to get lost. Speaking of lost artforms, where is as the art of creating a thematic album in 2011 ? It is slowly starting to fade away. Where’s todays DJ Shadow’s Entroducing ? Tricky’s Maxinquaye ? Plastikman’s Consumed ? I ain’t sad about the death of the CD but sad about the death of the album as a concept.

In the end, I will finish with this taught :

Convenience and commercialism kill artistic movements. It has happened with hip-hop, now is it our turn ? Those of you under 25, do yourselves a favor and at least learn how to beat match on 1200′s. You owe it to yourselves if you really love this music/culture. Also, please do some research and learn some history. You owe it to the movement as well. If not it will die with my generation because those who have no idea of the history will be unable to advance the culture. 65-75% of what’s available to the average clubber is not it. The global scene is a watered down money/glory based adulteration of something beautiful and pure. This is what we vinyl “purists” are talking about. Stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.

Thanks for reading.

Jeff.

Top 5 albums :

1)    Legowelt : The teac life : U can fly away from the hood


2)    Com truise : Galactic melt : Glawio


3)    Nicolas Jaar : Space is only noise : Space is only noise


4)    Mick Chillage : Faxology


5)    SEN : Sensory emotive network : Within reach


Top 10 Singles :

1)    Scuba : Adrenalin :

2)    Azealia Banks : 212 :

3)    Space dimension controller : Flight of the escape vessels :

4)    Nicolas Jaar : Space is only noise :

5)    Jichael Mackson : Venga (Lo que venga) :

6)    Fingers in the noise featuring Genoveva – Little Kosmos In My Head :

7)    Radiohead : Everything in its right place (Andi Muller mix) :

8)    Steve Miller Band : Fly like an eagle (VMM remix) :

9)    Scarlet Monk : Ring (Krts remix) :

10)     Ancient astronauts : Lost in Marrakesh Pathaans Mirage Mix :

5 mixes on Soundcloud :

1)    DJ Tamaris tribute to Boards of Canada
2)    Joris Voorn’s 15 years of Rejected behind the decks mix


3)    Piemans Classic Warp records mix

4)    Baumann electronics : DJ set live @t GESSAMÍ de St. Esteve de Palautorder

5)    DJ Hudson: Wild Bunch Sound – Massive Attack Samples (1988-98)

Reissue of the year : LFO : Frequencies by Dubplate & Mastering

Categories: Top 5 records
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